Lockheed Martin recently acquired eight-year-old sensor payload company Procerus, and it's no wonder. Its namesake remotely-piloted platform looks like your average quadrotor--similar to the Parrot AR drones you can pick up for your kids at Brookstone. But where other quadrotors fall short--battery life, range, practical applications--Procerus is the real deal.
It can run for 43 minutes on a full battery (that's actually a really long time relative to other similar platforms), can autonomously fly a preprogrammed route, and carrying its most sophisticated available payload can capture 10 megapixel images and video (and pan/tilt/zoom to do so), can track targets on the ground, and can even see at night (via an optional dual sensor package that includes both infrared and daytime cameras). It's radio link reaches out far beyond the actual battery range, meaning an operator--a first responder looking for survivors after a natural disaster, for instance--can fly Procerus for miles before having to turn around (top speed is in the 25-30 mile per hour range, depending on conditions).
Even better, the whole thing folds into a small package about the size of a regulation football and stores in a small hard case, perfect for keeping in the trunk of a first responder vehicle. From cracking the case open to putting eyes up in the sky, you're looking at maybe two minutes. That's rapid deployment.